[REAL LIFE] 5 years ago today I woke up as any usual day but mentally I was in a bad place. I had been suffering with clinical depression since 2006 I was used to having bad days and weeks and this particular day just felt like any other depressed shitty day. I was single, had a bunch of financial commitments I couldn’t meet but nothing I haven’t had to deal with before.
The harsh reality is I was far worse than I thought I was. Without even knowing it my brain had given up, every one has their limits and I had reached my limit without having any idea.
Fast forward a few hours in the day, the afternoon had disappeared without me know what I was done. I “wake up” and find myself in my car, down a country road and some how I had a bottle of Jack Daniels, a load of pills, tape and a hose pipe in my car. I had no idea how I got there or how these things were in my car.
I broke down, I had found my limit that day and I didn’t even know it. I was done. (The doctors said I entered a “Dissociative fugue state”, essentially your brain takes over and you can’t remember anything.) Music was playing in the car at the time and one song clicked me out of my state. Weirdly it was a song by one of my favourite artists Frank Turner. Song for Josh was the song. A song he wrote about one of his friends taking his own life.
After what may have been 30-60 minutes of intense crying and complete emptiness and with some degree of confusion I was in no fit state to drive so I started walking back towards home. Near home my friend Dawn was passing and picked me up. I was a mess.
After two days of being in bed my memory started to come back to me. I remember going to the hardware store and buying hose pipe and tape. I remember me saying goodbye to my dogs and parrot.
I knew I was in a shitty place mentally, but I had no idea I was that bad.
Looking back, it obviously could have been a lot worse but Im so glad I clicked out of the state I was in.
From then on I tried to make changes to my life and ended up living in a caravan for 18 months. Not where I wanted to be in life but the pressure was less and things were better.
Fast forward to today, 5 years on I look back at that time with a mixture of emotions.
Although I still have major stress in my life I am in a far better place than I was 5 years ago. I have been with my lovely Gabi for 4 years now who is a rock to me, I have amazing family and friends around me and although I am far far away from what I want my life to be I am in a place that I am blessed to be in my life.
So what’s the point of this post? Well men don’t speak about mental health any where as much as they should. There is still a stigma and that’s why so many men take their own lives in the UK. It has to change.
If you have read this and you are suffering please know, no matter who shit you may think your life is right now there are always options, always things you can do to make things better and not feel like you do right now. I know that when you are in a dark place its hard to see any thing else than what and how you feel right now, but trust me things can get better. Just 7 months after this horrible time I met my lovely Gabi, without whoI don’t know where I would be. Good things happen when you least expect them.
I still suffer with mental health, having some pretty shitty days sometimes, but the medication I am on keeps me better 90% of the time and allows me to function. One day I will be off medication, but not any time soon. If you are suffering don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid of taking medication.
Only two weeks ago I was having a particularly shitty time with my mental health, but the good thing now is those episodes only normally last a few days I can continue to keep fighting and not give up. Not giving up is the key here. If you try hard enough and smash down enough days and put the effort in I know I and everyone reading this can turn their lives around. Everyone can turn their lives around no matter what.
Finally. If you have read this and are suffering or know someone who is suffering with their mental health, just know there are people you can talk to. There are great organisations like the Samaritans who can help.. Talking is a must if you are suffering. I am here for anyone to speak to if they want, I know how it feels and know what you are going through.
Keep strong, keep real, keep talking and keep going folks. Lifes shitty times will turn around no matter how you may feel right now.